Saturday December 09, 2023

Pakistan concerned over BJP’s hand in 2002 Gujarat riots

November 28, 2022
A Pakistani policeman stands guard outside the Pakistans Foreign Ministry building in Islamabad on September 2, 2019. — AFP
A Pakistani policeman stands guard outside the Pakistan's Foreign Ministry building in Islamabad on September 2, 2019. — AFP

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Sunday expressed grave concern over confirmation of the BJP leadership’s direct involvement in the horrific Gujarat riots in 2002, leading to the killing of over 2,000 Muslims.

Pakistan also urged India to immediately constitute an independent commission of inquiry to bring the culprits of Godhra incident as well as Gujarat riots to justice.

“The recent statement by the former chief minister of Gujarat, Shankersinh Vaghela, has confirmed Pakistan’s long-standing assertion that the BJP-led government under the incumbent prime minister, who was Gujarat chief minister at the time of anti-Muslim riots in Godhra, was directly responsible for fomenting violence and massacre of Muslims,” said the Foreign Office in a press release.

This has been further corroborated indirectly by the Indian home minister, who recently claimed that those responsible for the Gujarat riots had been ‘taught a lesson’ and ‘permanent peace’ had been established in Gujarat by the BJP’s decisive actions.

Pakistan also urged the international community, particularly the human rights activists and defenders, to take a serious note of the aggravating situation of Islamophobia in India.

The Indian government was also asked to ensure that the rights of minorities in India, especially Muslims, were safeguarded and their lives protected.

“It is most deplorable that the crimes against humanity, targeting Muslims, were perpetrated solely for the BJP’s political gains. Regrettably, the BJP once again seeks to cash in on its divisive policies two decades after the Gujarat tragedy. Under the BJP rule, India’s treatment of its minorities, especially Indian Muslims, has been discriminatory, degrading and full of hate and violence,” said the Foreign Office spokesperson.

In June this year, the Supreme Court of India handed a clean chit to the current prime minister and the-then CM of Gujarat in the Gujarat riots case.

The Supreme Court shut down as many as 11 petitions, including one filed by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of India, seeking an independent probe into the 2002 Gujarat riots.

“It is an undeniable fact that India’s incumbent prime minister had been banned from entering countries such as the United States till 2014 because of his abysmal human rights record as chief minister of the Gujarat state,” the spokesperson said.

“Sadly, the entire Indian legal and administrative machinery was blindly pursuing the Hindutva-driven agenda of the ruling BJP-RSS nexus, where the perpetrators of hate and violence were protected by law and enjoyed exalted

status, whereas religious minorities were constantly threatened and denied the freedom to practice their faith without fear, while their lives, property and places of worship remained under threat of violation,” added the spokesperson.